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A 31-year-old member asked:

As teen, is lithium a safe treatment for bipolar i disorder?

5 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Momen El Nesr
Addiction Medicine 40 years experience
Safe: Common and safe treatment.
Dr. Alan Ali
Dr. Alan Alianswered
Psychiatry 33 years experience
Lithium: One of oldest mood stabilizers, is well studied & results documents. Is safe if lithium blood levels are closely monitored, along with routine checks on blood count, electrolytes & heart & kidney functions.
Dr. Matthew Keener
Child Psychiatry 17 years experience
Yes, but an OD risk: Lithium is one of, if not the most effective med treatment for bipolar disorder. It is however a medication that can be easily overdosed and therefore when using in teens, this should be taken into account.
Dr. Vikas Duvvuri
Psychiatry 17 years experience
Another caveat: One addition to the thoughtful answers here is that lithium does take a toll on your body over the years. Frequent targets are the kidneys and the thyroid system. On the flip side, many on lithium are symptom free for decades. As stated, these trade-offs should be discussed with the prescribing psychiatrist.
Dr. Alan Ali
Dr. Alan Alianswered
Psychiatry 33 years experience
Lithium: As stated above, close monitoring is essential, with blood levels.

Similar questions

A 36-year-old member asked:

Teen with bipolar disorder, treatment?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 26 years experience
Recommend: Working with a child psychiatrist. Psychiatric medications are often required. Individual therapy (ie. Cognitive behavioratherapy or psychotherapy) and family therapy are usually indicated. Group therapy may be benificial and inpatient psychiatric treatment may be needed in some cases.
A 32-year-old member asked:

Is lithium an effective treatment for bipolar disorder?

3 doctor answers12 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kevin Passer
36 years experience
Yes: In fact, lithium is probably the best/most studied medication for the treatment of bipolar disorder. It is very effective in many but not all cases. It has been shown to be the most effective treatment for suicidality. It can be safe and effective, especially for bipolar i disorder or a manic episode.
A 44-year-old member asked:

Could it be bad not to have treatment for bipolar disorder?

2 doctor answers14 doctors weighed in
Dr. Dheeraj Raina
Psychiatry 30 years experience
Yes. : Untreated bipolar disorder can be very devastating as it can affect all ares of one's functioning, including relationships, jobs, and physical health.
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 43 years experience
Untreated Bipolar disorder can also worsen over time -- repeated episodes of mania and depression can create a kindling effect in the brain, leading to more intense and more frequent episodes. Worse suffering for the patient.
May 2, 2013

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Last updated Oct 3, 2016

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